Scotland v Slovakia Betting Tips: Tartan Army to come out on top

19:45/Oct 05

Football writer Thomas Giles previews the upcoming World Cup qualifier between Scotland and Slovakia.

These two sides are battling out for the playoff spot in Group F as England are pretty much guaranteed to top the group in the final standings.

After a miserable start to the qualification campaign which saw them take just four points from four games, the pressure was mounting on Scotland manager Gordon Strachan and it looked to be another fruitless campaign for the Scots. However, they have now taken 10 points from a possible 12 in their last four competitive matches – putting them right back in the mix.

The Tartan Army have managed to add goals to a robust defence in recent times and, after finding the back of the net just twice in their previous four matches (including friendlies), they have now averaged two goals per game in their last four qualifiers. Additionally, they have kept three clean sheets in that time.

The Scots have an admirable recent record at Hampden Park with no home defeats since narrowly losing a European qualifier to Germany back in September 2015. In fact, even before that loss against Germany, they had not lost a competitive match on home soil since September 2013.

Slovakia came into this qualifying campaign as the favourites to occupy that potential playoff spot in Group F. However, although they still occupy that second spot, they are under real pressure to retain that spot with Slovenia and Scotland closing in.

Jan Kozak’s side have been decent in the final third during this campaign with 14 goals scored in eight games – including goals in each of their last six competitive matches. However, despite the fact they have been winning games on a consistent basis, Kozak will be worried about his side’s backline which has kept just one clean sheet in its last four.

A further concern for the Slovaks going into this match against Scotland will be their away form. Their record of just two wins from seven matches outside of Slovakia since June 2016 does not make for reading. Furthermore, they have not kept a competitive away clean sheet since November 2014.

This is a must-win match for both of these teams if they want to stake a serious claim for that second spot going into the final round of matches. However, I think Scotland are the more likely winners here as the momentum and home form is in their favour. Put this alongside Slovakia’s poor away record and 6/4 on the Scotland Win looks to be good value.

Single: Pending
Scotland v Slovakia
05.10.2017 19:45 \B\S\T
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